1. Home
  2. Magazine 2013
  3. The Plan 065
  4. Snøhetta spreads its wings

Snøhetta spreads its wings

Snøhetta

Snøhetta spreads its wings
By Michael Webb -

Snøhetta is a collective enterprise that brings fresh thinking to a growing roster of commissions. It began as a loose association of young Norwegian architects and landscape designers, who collaborated with other fledgling talents in Los Angeles in 1989 to win the prestigious competition for the Alexandria Library in Egypt. They capped that achievement with the Oslo Opera House, which - like the Bilbao Guggenheim - has become a catalyst for the renewal of an industrial waterfront, as well as the city’s most versatile and popular gathering place. In 2004, Snøhetta opened an office in New York to supervise construction of the National September 11 Memorial Museum Pavilion at Ground Zero, and it was soon in demand for challenging assignments all over the United States. 

Recently, another Scandinavian firm - Copenhagen’s BIG - made a splashy debut in New York and opened an office there. Its head, Bjarke Ingels, is a rising star who relies on intuition to diagram a dramatic concept that crystallizes the program, as Frank Lloyd Wright and Le Corbusier used to do. In contrast, the founding partners of Snøhetta, Kjetil Thorsen and Craig Dykers, select design teams from their 120 associates in Oslo and New York to research and develop every design, even as they undertake work in impoverished communities. It’s a rare firm that is able to triumph over the world’s leading architects to create two of the most original buildings of the century, while devoting time to building a public library in a crime-ridden neighborhood of New York and working with a ceramics artist on park benches in Guatemala City. On an even smaller scale, they designed a fold-out doll’s house to benefit a children’s hospital in Mexico, with the subsidiary goal of introducing little girls to rationalism and weaning them away from sentimental historicism. “It’s an important part of our office,” says Dykers....

Proceed with your preferred purchase option to continue reading
Digital

Digital

4.49 €
Print

Print

15.00 €
Subscription

Subscription

From 35.00 €
Keep up with the latest trends in the architecture and design world

© Maggioli SpA • THE PLAN • Via del Pratello 8 • 40122 Bologna, Italy • T +39 051 227634 • P. IVA 02066400405 • ISSN 2499-6602 • E-ISSN 2385-2054